As many of you are aware, It’s A Sling Thing is a small business run by myself Emily and my business partner Jenni. We both have two young children and we live hours apart from one another which makes running a business together occasionally challenging!
When we took over It’s A Sling Thing almost two years ago, we were probably pretty naive about what would go into running this business (there’s no probably about it really; we were). In the last two years we have learned so much about the different aspects of what we do – accounts, IT systems, website security, GDPR, marketing…. all the things that are nothing to do with slings.
Our biggest single outlay each month is postage costs. It is greater than the limited wage we pay each of us, and often more than we spend on replacing slings. So far we have absorbed the rises in the rates from Royal Mail, but we are now looking at changing our prices so that we continue to be able to offer this service.
What goes into a hire
When you hire from us lots of things happen!
First, Jenni will find the sling in our stock in Bolton. The sling is packed with all the paperwork and she uploads the details of the parcel to Royal Mail.
Royal Mail come to Jenni and collect the parcels each week day after lunch.
The slings are sent via the Tracked24 service which aims to deliver 90% of parcels within 24 hours. We send the slings signed for and tracked to ensure that as far as is possible nothing gets lost!
When you receive your order and use it you can get in touch at any point for some assistance in the fit or advice on using your carrier. This is provided to you for free generally.
When it is time to return the sling we provide you with a Tracked24 returns label. You only need to pack up the sling and get it scanned at your local post office.
When the sling gets back to Jenni she unpacks it, checks it over, marks it as received and refunds your deposit if you paid one, and washes the sling before packing it back up onto the shelves!
Right now, the cost of the postage alone is around £12. That isn’t taking into account any of the other costs – packaging, printing, Jenni’s time, any time for advice, the cost of our rental system, our website costs, our insurance, washing liquid…..
Right now we are discussing what price increases we might need to implement. The cost of hires will need to increase, but we don’t yet have a final price. To help us in this we wanted to get your input. We’ve done a short set of questions about our service to help us identify what might work and we would be very grateful if you could fill it out.